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Dark Side of the Spoon Import

3.5 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, June 8, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Out-of-print in the US! DARK SIDE OF THE SPOON opens with Al Jourgensen screaming "I just shot a man to death" over grinding guitar riffs and an unrelenting, martial beat. Clearly, these godfathers of industrial rock show no signs of mellowing as they near their third decade of sonic terrorism. Longtime fans can rest easy, there are no attempts at mainstream crossover here--no string sections or sentimental ballads. True to form, Ministry delivers cut after cut of manic alienation. The savage, repetitive guitar patterns consolidate hard rock, punk and heavy metal into a new, uncompromising paradigm. Jourgensen revels in his angst, using it as a cathartic tool of expression. His tortured, filtered vocals bespeak a lifetime spent observing mankind's most heinous atrocities, but his knack for studio manipulation and sonic architecture makes the whole thing quite palatable, if not accessible.


To hear longtime Ministry mainstays Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker tell it, Dark Side of the Spoon is some sort of lighthearted comic romp. Getting there was anything but; virtually completed in 1997, most of the original Spoon was scrapped and rerecorded the following year for an eventual 1999 release. But longtime Ministry devotees needn't worry that Jourgensen and Barker have traded in the band's formulaic hard-edged mix of heavy-riffing guitars, percussion loops, and techno-industrial flourishes for a dash of Noël Coward. In fact, aside from the song titles--"Nursing Home," "Eureka Pile," "Vex and Siolence"--listeners without a lyric sheet handy are going to be hard-pressed to enjoy the witticisms present in the album's typically overwrought, electronically subverted vocals. And who knows? Maybe if one sang Gilbert and Sullivan through a distorted megaphone in an echo-prone parking structure, it would sound just like this. Allow us the liberty of mixing our equestrian metaphors: Spoon only proves how tough it is to paint a horse of a different color when you're a one-trick pony. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Supermanic Soul
  2. Whip And Chain
  3. Bad Blood
  4. Eureka Pile
  5. Step
  6. Nursing Home
  7. Kaif
  8. Vex & Siolence
  9. 10/10
  10. Silent
  11. Silent
  12. Silent
  13. Silent
  14. Silent
  15. Silent
  16. Silent
  17. Silent
  18. Silent
  19. Silent
  20. Silent
  21. Silent
  22. Silent
  23. Silent
  24. Silent
  25. Silent
  26. Silent
  27. Silent
  28. Silent
  29. Silent
  30. Silent
  31. Silent
  32. Silent
  33. Silent
  34. Silent
  35. Silent
  36. Silent
  37. Silent
  38. Silent
  39. Silent
  40. Silent
  41. Silent
  42. Silent
  43. Silent
  44. Silent
  45. Silent
  46. Silent
  47. Silent
  48. Silent
  49. Silent
  50. Silent
  51. Silent
  52. Silent
  53. Silent
  54. Silent
  55. Silent
  56. Silent
  57. Silent
  58. Silent
  59. Silent
  60. Silent
  61. Silent
  62. Silent
  63. Silent
  64. Silent
  65. Silent
  66. Silent
  67. Silent
  68. Silent
  69. Bonus Track 1

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Warner Bros UK
  • ASIN: B00000J7J9
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,464 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Welt on April 12, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Well, I'm definitely in the minority with this opinion, but I think Spoon is one of Ministry's best albums. From the jaw-shattering opening that is Supermanic Soul, to the extreme blood-curdling and deviating sound of the amazing Vex & Siolence, Spoon really showcases a more eerie and Wraithy side of Ministry. This isn't the typical, hard-hitting, aggressive Ministry album we've already heard a hundred times before. Spoon is darkly tricky, but at the same time, preserves that clotting Ministry sound we're all familiar with. Their slower, more bleak side in an entire CD.
This album just BLEEDS enmity. But it's executed in a suttle, and sometimes funny way. I love the melancholy that spews out of songs like Nursing Home (a trippy and tweaky track) and Eureka Pile. The acrid sound of Kaif... and of course, the disarraying backdrop of 10/10, Whip & Chain and Bad Blood... and the jazzy exterior of Step (which samples one of my favorite movies).
Most people rejected Spoon's unique and seething style. I guess it's an acquired taste... I'm just one of the few that happened to acquire that taste. This album is darkly funny, subtle, grey and just perfect. I'm not gonna say you're not a true Ministry fan if you detest this masterwork... but I WILL say all you Psalm 69-heads need to learn how to appreciate diverse music.
Spoon is dingy... it's muddy... it's coagulated... it's weird... and it's an absolute masterpiece.
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By A Customer on October 9, 1999
Format: Audio CD
First off, fans need to drop the train of thought that artists make CD's for them. Filth Pig makes me think of something the guys from Paradise Lost said of alienating their fans. To paraphrase, "We didn't have fans before our first album, so so what?"
Think of all those disappointed synth-poppers back when Twitch came out. And then, think of all the sad electronica fans that bought Land of Rape & Honey!
Well now there's a new breed of Ministry fans, those that think each album should be Psalms 69. Thankfully, Ministry proves with Dark Side of The Spoon, they can shake things up with the best of them.
With it's sardonic, assumingly personal, lyrics -- and those text-book machine beats that made most of their college radio listening fans during Psalms, DSoTS delivers.
One really has to delve into certain bands' background and other projects to appreciate certain CD's, and perhaps this is one of them. One has to wonder if that's "Buck Satan" singing on some of those tracks -- or if the pig-like squeals in Nursing Home were inspired by certain films the boys have expressed a liking of.
No, DSoTS is not for all of Ministry's fans. But it's certainly for the true Ministry fans. The ones that listened to Filth Pig and appreciated it for it's incredibly dark, decaying and harsh tunes -- and wasn't disappointed that it wasn't another breakneck Psalms 69.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not as dismal or noisy as the previous "Filth Pig", Dark Side of the Spoon has a lot more groove and plenty of psychedlic hypnotic feel, just as much atmosphere as its predecessor. If you're one of the fans who loved Filth Pig, it's a good chance this album is for you. It's definitely the newer style of Ministry- different instrumental sounds and composition style, still very very good. The guitars and bass grind loudly, as opposed to the controlled distorted tone on "Mind", "Psalm" and "Land". The drums sound like REAL drums run through some distortion and booming reverb.

This album has excellent distorted bass lines synched perfectly to pounding rhythms, much like "Cannibal Song" from Mind, but there's more variation and more 'fun' to it. There are a few rockers like "Reload" from Filth Pig, like "Supermanic Soul", and "Bad Blood". These songs have the anthemic quality of old Ministry and seem to be the ones the fans tolerate the most.

For the first time since "With Sympathy" Al uses his saxophone playing skills and his fantastic melodic voice. This alone makes the album worth hearing, great new elements. This is a more intelligent, mature and less adrenaline fueled Ministry. "Nursing Home" also has some of what sounds like a mandolin. That song, by the way, is one of my favorite Ministry tracks, period. Love the shrieking processed guitars, grooves like nothing else. "Eureka Pile" has another great bass groove, as does "KAIF". Al has a real knack for creating atmosphere.

"Step" has very little musical value (just a couple power chords) but the hilarious vocals make up for it. "Whip and Chain" is a bizarre psychedelic experiment. The mixing is very strange, guitars in the back, vocals above everything else.
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By A Customer on March 28, 2000
Format: Audio CD
They guy below who beseeches Ministry to return to their roots is apparently unaware that Ministry's "roots" are much more akin to Flock of Seagulls than the yardstick for heavy industrial metal that Ministry eventually became. Jourgensen's made a musical progression like few others - not just to the point that his music now bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to his music then, but that his music now is actually the antithesis of his earliest work.
It's a progression that's apparently drained Ministry of most of its creative force. The Dark Side Of The Spoon indicates that Al Jourgensen and cohort Paul Barker don't intend on coming off of autopilot just yet, if ever. The majority of Dark Side Of The Spoon circles in the same sleepy rut of tracks that seem eerily empty somehow, as if some key component is missing. There are occasional bright spots of innovation on the album, but they're marred by a feeling of deja vu it gives you - it all sounds awfully familiar. And not necessarliy familiar to Ministry, but more familiar to the band's own inferior clones.
The problem is that while all the key ingredients are here, they just don't gel to form recognizable songs like older Ministry - the droning bassline from "So What", hypnotic vocals of "Cannibal" or the sliding riff of "Stigmata", for examples. The drum loops and guitar riffs of Dark Side Of The Spoon are so overly simplistic and wearily paced that it feels like the songs of full of holes where sound is supposed to be. The ambience of earlier Ministry is lost on the Dark Side.
Dark Side Of The Spoon isn't quite unlistenable, but it isn't at all memorable, which means a lot when it's by a band that's made a lot of the most memorable and influentual music of the past fifteen years.
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